A friend of mine at cliff has a purple Citroen C3. This C3 is my favourite car at college. It’s always filled with life, and grace. You can say anything, and you will be heard. Do anything and everyone will do it with you. And still the car will cause you to arrive on time.
One of the most interesting features of this car is that the bumper is held on with duct tape.
I’m not certain how the bumper ended up falling off, but the driver got so irritated by the bumper that a vast amount of silver duct tape was used to hold the large plastic front on.
Today in morning prayers, we were looking at a part of the New Testament, written by Paul, saying this of Jesus:
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
But what about the people who’s lives are falling apart? What about those I know who are certainly ‘in Christ’ but their lives are coming apart? Addictions and habits, darkness and pain in their hearts, they can’t help but spew evil words and everything seems to fall apart in their hands.
Where are they left? When nothing holds together and you cry out to God, where is he to make it hold together?
It’s very easy, indeed tempting to read these promises as an individual. Many people own their own bible these days, and so read the bible alone. However if you read this statement along with the statement before it, and the statement after it, the meaning becomes clearer:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
The government here is the vehicle by which Christ holds things together. Paul lived in the oppressive Roman empire, with Christianity enjoying less and less freedom and was able to state this. This peace only existed because Jesus is greater than the roman empire, and within this peace, Christ forms his church. All these things hold together because of Christ.
The world is bigger than me and my problems, and Christ causes his church to hold together in it. It seems when I try and make Jesus my own personal duct tape, it doesn’t work, because he created a church community, a community in which there is healing and grace along with peace.
Don’t be afraid to say that things are not holding together for you right now. They don’t have to, that’s not what this promise is about. Come join us, be broken here and then marvel at the God who causes his church to hold together, filled with people who have given up trying to hold it together.